When the first Jack Reacher movie came out in theaters, many were doubtful that it'd be a hit — but action fans, Tom Cruise fans, and fans of the never-ending book series turned out for the film. It ended up grossing $80 million domestically and a whopping $218 million worldwide, so it was hardly a surprise that a sequel was later announced. The most die-hard fans of the movie seem to be the ones who have been loyally reading Lee Child's Jack Reacher series for almost two decades, and many will be wondering how the sequel fits into the book series. Indeed, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is based on a book in Child's series.
The thriller Never Go Back, which was published in 2013, is described by The Hollywood Reporter as being about Reacher "on a cross-country run after facing trumped-up charges, a woman claiming he fathered her child and a female commanding officer." The official synopsis for the film, which can be found on Google, echoes those general plot points: "Investigator Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) springs into action after the arrest of Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders), an Army major accused of treason."
In an October interview with People , Child himself described the film as being a new challenge for the character of Jack, because he has to team up with Army Major Susan Turner and a mysterious teenager, so "instead of being [about] a lone wolf, it becomes a three-hander...The three of them have got to work together to get out of the mess." And Child, who told People that he is "ecstatic" about the film versions of his books, even has a cameo in Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, just like he did in 2012's Jack Reacher.
Never Go Back is the 18th book in the Jack Reacher series, which might lead you to assume that the first Jack Reacher movie was based off either the 17th book, or perhaps the first book in the series as a foundation. But you'd be wrong. The plot of 2012's Jack Reacher was in fact based on Child's ninth book for the series, One Shot, and the two stories aren't even, it seems, continuations from one another's plot. However, the page for the book on Child's official website notes that "as with all the Reacher novels, they can be read out of order," so you can rest assured that the filmmakers won't need to do any plot acrobatics to make the stories fit together.
And if this sequel is a box office hit, there are plenty of other Jack Reacher stories to adapt. Child, for his part, told People he would "love" to see a film adaptation of one of the Reacher books that takes place in a less urban setting: "One of the badlands stories: big empty country, very few buildings." I can't imagine action film veteran Cruise would have too much trouble in that setting.